Beccy Hopfensperger - Thingoe North

I’ve lived in Bury St Edmunds and its surrounds all my life. I am married to Paul and we have two young boys. Paul and I run our own personal wellness business in Bury town centre and are both serving Borough Councillors. In my spare time I enjoy running through our wonderful town and countryside. Some of my more challenging problems are thought through whilst on a run.

I guess politics is my blood with my Father also being a serving Borough Councillor. From an early age, I represented my class and year on school councils and was passionate about speaking up for people on issues which concern them. I entered the world of local politics in 2003 when I became a Town Councillor. I also had the privilege of being the Town Mayor of Bury St Edmunds in 2006/7. 

In 2005, I was elected to the Suffolk County Council to represent Thingoe North. I currently hold the position of Cabinet Member for Adult Care - a challenging but rewarding role. In 2011, I joined St Edmundsbury Borough Council, representing the Fornham ward. At the Borough, I am a member of the Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee and the Licensing and Regulatory Committee.

My aim for Thingoe North is to ensure that it has a strong voice and is fairly represented when it comes to service provision. It is a beautiful part of Suffolk and we need to ensure that it remains a vibrant and enchanting division.

I can be contacted at



Looking after the vulnerable is top priority

Nationally the focus of Covid-19 within the care sector has been on care homes. In Suffolk, we recognise that the experience is the same in all care settings, including extra care housing and supported housing, although the prevalence has not been as great.

An update on Covid-19 in Suffolk’s care homes

There has been a lot of news reported lately about how the Coronavirus pandemic is playing out in care homes and other residential care settings. Many people are concerned about their family members and friends who live in care homes, especially as they are unable to visit.

Suffolk celebrates CQC success

Suffolk’s recent Care Quality Commission statistics are in and Suffolk is now top of the table for comparator local authority areas.

See Also

Russ Rainger - Aldeburgh and Leiston

I moved to Suffolk in 2007, when Denise and I made Snape our home. I retired from a 30-year career in the nuclear power industry in 2014. My interest in local issues has been fuelled by my involvement with the Parish Council and, in 2017, I stood for a County Council position.

Mark Bee - Beccles

I was born and raised in Beccles, where I attended local schools. I was a student at Westminster College, Oxford, where I gained a degree in Theology and was elected President of the Student Union. It was from this that my interest in politics was established.

Christopher Hudson - Belstead Brook

It has been a great honour to serve and represent the people of Suffolk as a County Councillor since 2012. I also served as a District Councillor from 2011-2019. 

Paul West - Bixley

I am married to Katherine and have two stepchildren. Ipswich has always been our home and we run our small businesses here too. It is a great place to live as we are just an hour from London and have a vibrant waterfront area. I was elected at the County Councillor for the Bixley Division in a by-election in May 2016.

Joanna Spicer MBE DL - Blackbourn

I have been the Suffolk County Councillor for the Blackbourn Division for almost 30 years. I have worked in the public sector in Suffolk since 1972 and live in Pakenham with my husband Christopher.

Richard Smith MVO - Blything

I have been a County Councillor since 2010 and represent the Blything Division, which consists of the town of Saxmundham (where I live) and twelve villages to the north – Blythburgh, Bramfield, Darsham, Dunwich, Kelsale-cum-Carlton, Middleton, Theberton, Thorington, Walberswick, Wenhaston, Westleton and Yoxford.

Kay Oakes - Bosmere

I have lived in Needham Market since 1997. I was a Needham Market Town Councillor for fifteen years and I have served as Mayor of Needham Market and Chairman of the Town Council three times.

David Ritchie - Bungay

My wife and I live in St James South Elmham, one of the 25 rural parishes in the Bungay electoral Division.  We keep a few sheep and some chickens and are doing our best to restore and improve a timber-frame Suffolk long house. Rachel is the Church Warden and we both help with village events.

Mary Evans - Clare

I come from a farming family and grew up in Suffolk. I trained as a reporter on the East Anglian Daily Times, where I met my husband. Our careers took us to Westminster where I worked as a political correspondent.

Rachel Hood - Exning and Newmarket

I am a Cambridge University educated Barrister, a qualified Californian/USA Federal Court Attorney, and a married mother of four. My husband and I run a business in Newmarket, where I am a Town Councillor and the current Mayor, having been Mayor previously in 2014-15 and 2018-19.